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Fine Win Over Wolverhampton League Leaders

posted 8 Dec 2013, 12:19 by knight moves   [ updated 8 Dec 2013, 12:19 ]
Stafford achieved a fine 4-2 home win over Wolverhampton League Division One leaders Stourbridge.

After an uneventful draw for Gerald Acey on board two, Ray Hyde won a really excellent game with the black pieces on board five, castling queenside and mounting a powerful kingside attack with doubled rooks on the f-file which crashed through.  Pavel Nefyodov increased Stafford's lead with another fine game on board six.  Once again, the players castled on opposite sides and Pavel's attack arrived first.  A sharp tactical sequence won a piece although his opponent reserved some hope of trapping the extra knight.  Despite it looking marooned on g7, Pavel managed to extricate it and his opponent duly resigned.

Malcolm Armstrong was under early pressure and offered a pawn sacrifice in an attempt to obtain some activity.  His opponent declined the offer but then Malcolm managed to relieve the pressure by exchanging queens after which his draw offer was accepted. 

Matthew Harborne looks to be regaining his form and won a nice game on board four to clinch the match.  He maintained a pleasant edge throughout the game and, as the rooks were exchanged, he obtained strong pressure against his opponent's b-pawn. After forcing the exchange of queens, he duly won this pawn and comfortably converted the ensuing bishop ending.

It is a very long time since International Master Lawrence Cooper lost a game for Stafford, but then again it is a very long time since he faced an opponent of the strength of International Grandmaster Keith Arkell. Playing black, Lawrence achieved a comfortable middlegame position and perhaps felt that he stood better when entering complications.  Unfortunately, he emerged from these a pawn down in a rook ending which is the ultimate nightmare against Keith, particularly in the allegro finish.  Lawrence defended very resourcefully and came close to a draw but eventually, with a large audience, the Grandmaster's technique prevailed to achieve some consolation for Stourbridge and leave the final match score a 4-2 victory for Stafford.